It’s a family-friendly small town that is a little more relaxed than other cities in the Great Smokies, and for that we adore it.
This family-friendly small town is a little more relaxed than other cities in the Great Smokies, and we adore it. (Yes, I think it’s our new favorite Smoky Mountain town. Shhh!)
When you think about a family vacation to Tennessee, Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge might come to mind, but Sevierville is a must-visit. Read through for our favorite things to do in Sevierville TN for family fun.
PARTNERS WE LOVE
SKY HIGH AIR TOURS
Grab your flying goggles and head for the skies with Sky High Air Tours. You and a friend can soar 1,000 ft over Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, with spectacular views that are just not possible to imagine from the ground. In the fall, the view is unmatched anywhere.
The vintage open-cockpit airplane, called the Waco Biplane, takes you up for 8-30 minutes, depending on the package you purchase. Prices range from $110 to $325.
Dan and I rode together - it is 2 people max. The boys opted to watch our 15 min flight from the hanger, as they were a little nervous to join us.
I'll admit to being a little nervous, also, but Mark (the pilot and owner) was great....and the flight is so smooth and easy that even in the open cockpit I was not frightened at all (this coming from a woman who refuses to ride roller coasters!)
We took the 15 minute tour, which is well worth the price, but if you can afford it try the longer tour which takes you out over Douglas Lake. I promise that when you hear the engine wind down to begin the landing, you're going to wish you had purchased the longer tour.
While you are up, each person gets a headset so you can hear Mark tell you about what you're seeing. It's not like a guided tour though (unless you specifically ask), which I appreciated. I just wanted to soak it all in - every minute of it.
Bring cash - you're going to want to leave a tip!
TENNESSEE MUSEUM OF AVIATION
Just a few hundred yards from where you take your biplane ride, stop at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation. The front part of the museum includes thousands of historical artifacts, while the back part is a 50,000 sq ft hanger packed with vintage aircraft.
In the exhibits area features a “Wave Wall” which traces significant milestones in the history of aviation from before the Wright Brothers. There is piece of the USS Arizona, which the boys found fascinating. We also saw pilot uniforms from multiple points in history - how interesting to watch them evolve.
The hanger was our favorite! We saw two Republic P-47 Thunderbolts from WWII (there are not many of these left), a full scale replica of the 1902 Wright Glider, several MiG fighter jets, and much more!
RAINFOREST ADVENTURES DISCOVERY ZOO
RainForest Adventure Discovery Zoo is a small little zoo that is jam-packed with tons of fun! Designed by one of the contractors working on the Disney Animal Kingdom project, it features over 600 animals.
My favorite exhibit was the marmosets. They were so adorable and so curious. I could be wrong, but I swear they were talking to me with sign-language.
They now have Axolotls!
Elliot liked the rats...they had multiple rat exhibits in different stages of life, and he watched the 1-5 day old babies for a long, long time. Their eyes weren't even open yet, and the mama was giving them a bath.
Most of the zoo is inside, but there is also a small petting zoo outside with goats, sheep and emu. This was Cooper's favorite! Be sure to pick up a bag of food from the giftshop so you can feed them.
Honestly, I was very impressed with the Zoo. Places like this can be hit or miss across the country, and this was definitely a hit. It's a mom and pop run business, with more than 20 years under their belt and a focus on exotic animals of the rain forest. Absolutely worth the stop!
Breathe in the rich splendor of the majestic Appalachians with the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Flex Pass. Save up to 30% of admission costs at over 30 attractions and tours throughout the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Smokies.
SEVIER AIR TRAMPOLINE & NINJA WARRIOR PARK
Sometimes when you're on vacation you need something just for the kids - and this is it! Yes, you can jump too...but this trampoline jumping park was the most epic "get the wiggles out" stop for our boys. Especially because we had been driving for so long earlier in the day.
Jump for an hour or two at Sevier Air - with dodgeball, a "high dive" jumping station, interactive jumping games, a ninja warrior park, a wipe-out station, and tons of jumping space.
Don't miss the bottom floor while you're there. You'll find a two-story ropes climb and a cafe with snacks, frozen yogurt and more. We also noticed that they have small rooms in this area, perfect for birthday parties.
UNCLE HANKS KNIVES
The highlight of our trip was working with Hank and LouAnn at Uncle Hank's Knives.
Uncle Hank's sits in the oldest brick building in Sevierville, right in the parking lot of Smoky Mountain Knife Works. It's here that you can take classes from Hank and make your own knife!
The boys started with half a ponyshoe each, and Dan and I used half a horseshoe...and with Hank's lead we moved from firing and hammering then to sanding... to hardening... and finally to sharpening and polishing.
Hank has worked with kids as young as 5 years and as old as 90 years. In fact, he had just recently finished a workshop with a 90 yo man- plus his son, grandson and great-grandson, all together.
Our knife making session took about 3 hours for four knives (and the time flew by) but you can make a smaller knife in as little as 30 minutes.
Just be sure to make a reservation as soon as you know you are heading to the area. Appointments are all private and they fill up fast.
Our plan was to spend about an hour or so exploring before we drove back home. About 3 hours later, we reluctantly headed out only because our schedule demanded it. We didn't want to leave!
If you ask us, the sprawling 150 acres of Foxfire Mountain alone is worth the short trip to east Tennessee from Atlanta. Camp here (or stay in a glamping tent like we did) and make it a weekend so that you can explore even more than we did!
BRIDGE TO PROSPERITY MOUNTAIN
At the very least, you'll want to buy tickets for The Discovery Hiking and Swinging Bridge Tour. This allows you to cross Foxfire gorge from Foxfire Mountain to Prosperity Mountain. At 335 ft, this bridge is the longest swinging bridge in America, and makes gorgeous photos in addition to being super fun.
WISHES FOR THE FAIRIES
Before you cross the bridge, you'll write your most important wish on a piece of plastic and carry it across the bridge to Prosperity Mountain where you'll find Whispering Winds Covered Bridge.
Here you can hang your wish with thousands of other wishes...and if you're lucky, your wish will come true. Be sure to ask the staff about the hundreds of stories of people's wishes becoming reality.
Also on this side of the bridge, you can follow the hiking trail to Lost Mine Falls and the Sweden Furnace Iron Mine. It's only about a mile round trip, and the boys loved the second (smaller) swinging bridge over the falls.
There is also a small Walking Tree Canopy Tour and a stone-stacking area where you can create your own cairns.
EXPLORING FOXFIRE MOUNTAIN
If you are like us, you'll be excited to cross the bridge and leave your wishes first. But after you explore Prosperity Mountain, be sure to head back to the Foxfire Mountain side for even more fun.
Our kids adored - I mean adored - the Little Adventurer Obstacle Course ropes courses. They went through it about 5 or 6 times, and were truly challenged by it!
The River Walk Trail is also a lovely trail along the water, and the kids (and you!) are free to dip your toes, hunt for salamanders and more in the water.
WYILE CIDER HOUSE
The Cider House sits on the Foxfire Property, though owned by different people...be sure to stop, even with kids.
We sampled their house cider and the boys fell in love with it so we set them up with a few full-sized glasses of soft cider and let them lounge on the chairs outside with a snack for a few while we sampled 12 other ciders - hard ciders.
I'm always very skeptical of moonshine, mountain wine, ciders and more - but this was SENSATIONAL and ended up leaving with several bottles.
The five most popular flavors are Elderberry, Blackberry, Black Currant, Peach, and Spice o’ Life (which tastes like Fall in a mason jar!) The flavors are very subtle and not overwhelming...really delicious.
ZIPLINING AND ATV TOURS
Finally - our reason for wanting to return as soon as possible. You can mountain zipline and/or take some great ATV tours here.
And...if you take one of these zip line courses or ATV trips, the Discover Foxfire tickets are included at no charge.
Waterfall Canopy Tour - (7+ years old and at least 45 lbs.) This is the only zip line in the Smokies that zips over a waterfall. You'll zip 60 ft through the trees.
Goliath Zip Line Tour - (10+ years old and at least 100 lbs.) Featuring five of the fastest and longest ziplines in the country - this behemoth is the highest in the Smoky Mountains at over 500 feet into the air -- and the longest course at that height. The 2-hour tour encompasses five extreme zip lines, and will have you traveling up to 60mph.
Ultimate Zipline Tour - On this tour, you will complete both the Waterfall Zipline and the Goliath Zipline Tours in one day with one of their expert guides. That's twelve lines across the sky. The entire experience may last up to 4 hours.
ATV Tours - Take a ride off-road in the one and only ATV adventure in the Smoky Mountains! Riders will experience the beauty and wilderness of the Smokies, go through water, and to the top of the mountain!
APPLE BARN CIDER MILL AND GENERAL STORE
While we'll be the first to tell you that Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant is a "must eat" Sevierville location (here is our entire Sevierville Restaurants list) we absolutely want you to consider visiting the entire Apple Barn Village.
See the original barn from 1972, refurbished and opened with tons of yummy treats. Be sure to stop in the Cider Room, also. You can watch apples from their 4,000 trees being pressed into cider, which you can sample! If you want something more potent, stop in the Cider House, featuring hand-crafted hard ciders.
There is also a candy shop and ice creamery that the kids will love. And for the parents, don't miss a tasting at the Apple Barn Winery, and don't skip out on a wine slushy if you like wine, they're divine.
The Visit Sevierville website offers several different driving tours, and we really recommend them. Because of the time of year we visited, we opted for the Fall Driving Tour to Douglas Lake.
We started in Downtown Sevierville at the Dolly Parton Statue in front of the Sevier County courthouse. Celebrating the queen of country music, Dolly Parton's statue is the Sevierville's attraction to visit - and be sure to get a selfie with her.
From there, we visited an art gallery, drove by the Kyker Farms Corn Maze (open seasonally), and took a walk along the Douglas Dam with great views of Douglas Lake.
WHERE TO STAY
For complete details about the The Ridge, the tent, and other questions our readers asked about our stay, see this post!
Best for Families: Located within 6 miles of expansive Douglas Lake, the Club Wyndham Great Smokies Lodge in Sevierville features an indoor water park, seasonal outdoor water park, and fitness center. Guests will also be 10 miles from historic Pigeon Forge city center. This lodge offers guests free property-wide Wi-Fi and a convenient on-site deli. Miniature golf and an indoor park are offered for an additional fee.
Best Luxury Stay: Featuring an outdoor pool with a waterslide and an outdoor seating area with fire pits and plush lounge seating, The Lodge at Five Oaks offers luxury rural-inspired accommodations in Sevierville, Tennessee, just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Great for families, this hotel has a pool with waterslide the kids will love.
Best for the Holidays: Ready to get in the holiday spirit? Then the Inn at Christmas Place in nearby Pigeon Forge is a great choice. The Bavarian-inspired inn is opposite Christmas Place holiday store and 0.8 mi from The Island in Pigeon Forge. An outdoor pool with a 100-foot waterslide and large garden are on site. Santa Claus sings Christmas songs and tells holiday stories from Summer through December, and a glockenspiel art installation with bronze bells is on display in the lobby.
Experience a Tennessee vacation at the gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when you stay at Sun Outdoors Sevierville/Pigeon Forge. As one of the best resorts near Pigeon Forge, Sun Outdoors offers an outstanding location near exciting local attractions. Enjoy their swimming pool area, complete with a lazy river and splash pad, play a game of basketball, or take the kids to the playground. There is also a fenced-in bark park, so you can bring the whole family with you on vacation.
NEXT TIME WE VISIT
We adore the small town mountain feel of Sevierville. It was not our first visit - it certainly will not be our last. Here are a few things we are anxious to check out on our next trip.
Forbidden Caverns: One of Tennessee's 8,350 caves, you can learn about the different formations and more.
Adventure Park at Five Oaks: Horseback riding and ziplining adventures on a 70-acre natural park.
Wears Valley Helicopter Tour: It would be amazing to see the spectacular mountain views while flying over historic Sevierville during a helicopter tour!
The Smoky Mountain Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo: Walk among the deer and other animals and even hand feed them.
Nascar Speedpark: Go-karts and other family rides, plus unlimited mini golf and an indoor rock climbing wall.
Sevierville Festivals: From the Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival in May to the Sevierville Smoky Mountain Harvest Fest in October, there is always something fun happening here. We're more than ready for them to open again!
Rocky Top Mountain Coaster: This is the longest coaster in East Tennessee! It's nine minutes of twists, turns, surprises and fun!
WHERE TO STAY IN SEVIERVILLE
What are the top Sevierville attractions?
The top Sevierville attractions are the Dolly Parton Statue, RainForest Adventures Zoo, and Apple Barn Restaurant and Apple Village. u003cbru003eu003cbru003e
What is Sevierville known for?
Sevierville County is known for being a small town outside of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, and it has excellent shopping with outlets, flea markets, and unique boutiques.
Is Sevierville closer to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?
Sevierville is closest to Pigeon Forge. It's only about six miles north of Pigeon Forge.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TENNESSEE VISIT
- YOUR TENNESSEE VACATION
- GATLINBURG: Things to do in Gatlinburg, TN
- PIGEON FORGE: 12+ Exciting Things to do in Pigeon Forge
- NASHVILLE WITH KIDS: Things to do in Nashville with Kids
- KNOXVILLE: Things to do in Knoxville
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